“Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, ‘third time’s the charm.’”
Excerpt From: The Editors, WordPress.com. “365 Days of Writing Prompts.” iBooks.
She was heavily tired from crying last night. Audree didn’t know why she was crying, but she felt the tears streaming down her beautiful face. And in that moment, she knew, Third time is indeed a charm.
On the first day of her work as a secretary, she began filing immediately away. The office had so many stacks of folders waiting to be segregated. Audree was in charge. She worked away, mindlessly passing the time until finally it was 6 o’clock — an hour after she was supposed to already be out of the office.
Audree decided to wrap things up (quite literally) by pulling together all the files and placing them into a neat spot in the corner, where she planned to get back to them by tomorrow.
On the second day, Audree went looking for the work she halfway finished last night but couldn’t find the files anymore. She asked one of her officemates, Mario, about the files in the corner. “I didn’t see any files this morning,” Mario said.
“Are you sure?” asked Audree, partially doubting the existence of the files at the back of her mind.
“Yes, I’m sure,” he replied. “I’ve been here since 6am.”
Just then, a tall, strongly-built lady came in. Here name was Ms. Nadi. She was the office director.
“Audree, I need you to work on the files I told you about yesterday,” Ms. Nadi said. “They’re in my office.”
Audree was relieved. Well, at least, it’s just around somewhere. But as she stepped inside Ms. Nadi’s office, there was no neat stack of files waiting for her. Instead, there were piles and piles of files and folders waiting to be organized, segregated, and very neatly separated.
Audree was shocked.
“But,” Audree stammered. “I worked on this the whole day yesterday.”
“I’m sure you did,” Ms. Nadi said, rather disbelievingly. “Well, you have to finish this all up by tomorrow, Audree, or we’ll never get the presentation in time.”
Audree was confused. What in the world…? And as she did yesterday, she proceeded to work on painstakingly separating each and every file and folder to its proper place. This time around, Audree finished by eight thirty in the evening. And she finished everything.
She left the office, made sure the door was locked, and proceeded to go home and take a well-deserved rest.
On the third day, Audree came into the office by 5:30am. She was hoping to be the first one in. Apparently, nobody else arrived earlier than her that day. She unlocked Ms. Nadi’s office and, to her extreme disappointment, the files were gone again!
This time, when Ms. Nadi arrived and found out that the files were gone, she immediately called for Audree.
“What the hell, Audree?!” she yelled. “What did I say yesterday?”
“Ms. Nadi,” Audree gasped, overwhelmed by her boss’s emotions. “I don’t know what happened. Honestly, this is my third day and I tried to work on those files since my first day but something keeps happening that I can’t explain. The files keep getting transferred and disorganized.”
Ms. Nadi said a lot of things that Audree couldn’t remember anymore. Audree was too confused to pay attention to her boss. In her mind, she did everything she could, but nothing seemed to come out of the work she did. It was always just a mess every time she went back to the office. So Audree stormed out amidst Ms. Nadi’s angry fit. She ran and ran and never came back.
And so, on the third day, Audree thought she would never work for the corporate world again. And if she did, she would be the one to own the company. And she did. After 10 years of hard work, Audree started her own tech company. And she made sure that there were no fucking files to segregate ever again because she made a rule to make every document “paperless” — a rule that discouraged employees from unnecessarily printing out emails or handing out physical files that could be handled through a device. Now everything was digital and the planet would be all the better for it. Third time indeed was her charm.